KOLKATA: A goal blitzkrieg from McDowell’s Mohun Bagan saw the Mariners record a whopping 4-1 victory over defending Champions Bengaluru FC at the YuvaBharati Krirangan on Friday evening in an Hero I-League game.
Haitian Sony Norde scored a brace for the Green and Maroons, while Katsumi Yusa and Bikramjit Singh also got on the scoresheet. Sunil Chhetri remained the solitary scorer for BFC.
The away side scored from the first chance they had in the match in the sixth minute. Eugeneson Lyngdoh did well to nutmeg Dhanachandra Singh down the right before whipping in a cross across the face of the goal. Debjit Majumder who was in the Mariners’ goal missed the flight completely allowing Sunil Chhetri to head in from point blank.
The Mariners could have leveled it in the 13th minute itself. Balwant Singh did well to go romping down the middle before he found Sony Norde on the left with a lovely weighted through ball. The Haitian went for goal himself, instead of sliding it sideways to a free Pierre Boya on the far post. Ralte had no problem to smother the shot from an acute angle.
Just two minutes later Norde and Boya exchanged passes outside the box, before Boya tried to find Pritam in space, but the pass had too much on it.
In the 21st minute, Norde displayed his acceleration once again when he effortlessly went past CK Vineeth on the left and his square pass took a deflection and fell perfectly for Balwant Singh who completely scuffed his shot. Boya could not do much with the rebound as he only managed to strike the Blues’ defenders.
Finally Mohun Bagan managed to score the deserved goal at the half hour mark. The goal stemmed from some poor goal-keeping from Ralte. After Manju elected to play it back to the keeper, he passed it short to Johnson, instead of clearing his lines. The pass had too little pace on it, allowing Norde to seize the opportunity. The winger took his time, and smashed it past a hapless Ralte into the far corner.
In the 39th minute Norde was once again free down the left and he went for goal himself. Johnson managed to block it and the ball fell to Balwant who stroked the ball into the net, only to see it given offside.
The second half was pretty bereft of chances even though the Mariners looked to press on their advantage.
Even though Sony Norde and Pierre Boya often combined well, the final pass often let them down.
Sanjoy Sen’s team finally had a chance in the 74th minute when Sehnaj Singh sent in a long ball to the far corner. Sony Norde did well to hold onto the ball before hitting the side netting.
It was only two minutes later that the team had the lead courtesy Sony Norde. Bikaramjit Singh and Norde exchanged a one two on the half line before Bikramjit played a lovely weighted through ball to send Norde clean through. The Haitian took his time before calmly side footing the ball into the far post.
It got only better for the home side as Norde added another assist to his bag, four minutes before half time. He held off Lyngdoh before sending in a lovely cross, which took a deflection off John Johnson setting it up perfectly for Katsumi Yusa on the far post. The Japanese managed to head it into the open goal with ease.
Bikramjit Singh added the icing on the cake in the added time. Like before, Norde and Bikramjit exchanged a one two on the half line before Bikramjit went galloping down the middle before unleashing a fierce shot with his left foot. It was a goalkeeping howler that got him the goal though, with Ralte getting a hand to the ball but allowing it to fall into the goal from his grasp.
Hero of the Match – Sony Norde.